Tennis: Australia shut out Taiwan in Davis Cup

Australia stormed past Taiwan in Sunday's two singles matches to complete a 5-0 sweep in the Asia-Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie, inching towards their goal of competing in the World Group play-offs.

Australia, the top seed in this group, will face Uzbekistan in April. If successful, Australia will go into the World Group play-offs in September.

The Australians proved to be too powerful for Taiwan who were missing their top player Lu Yen-hsun. Australia had virtually secured their berth against Uzbekistan on Saturday after Lleyton Hewitt and Christopher Guccione beat Lee Hsin-han and Peng Hsien-yin in the doubles 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-2.

In the first of Sunday's two matches in Kaohsiung, Marinko Matosevic trounced Chen Ti 7-6, 6-3.

Matosevic, who replaced Lleyton Hewitt in Sunday's line-up and saw his world ranking rise fast to 48 from 201 last year, fended off Chen's assaults by serving an ace to win the first set after a tie break.

Matthew Ebden, who won last month's Australian Open mixed doubles with Jarmila Gajdosova, crushed Yang Tsung-hua 6-1, 6-2 in the last match.

Yang had received treatment Friday for what appeared to be a back problem after the second set of his singles match against Hewitt.

After the setback, Taiwan will face China in another Group I playoff in April.